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We talk with Claire from Our Handmade Collective, is the partnership of Little Shop of Lathers and Handmade by Natalie, who have invited other crafters, makers, designers and artists to join them in this exciting venture which has been open for business since June 2013.

Tell us a little bit about Our Handmade Collective?

We are Our Handmade Collective, an award-winning handmade, handpicked gift shopping experience, based in the Grand Arcade in Leeds.  We collectively stock the work of more than 70 local Makers in what has been described as an Aladdin’s Cave of handmade treasures. 

Winners of Leeds Love Affair Best Place to Shop and Best Place to Treat Yourself in Leeds, and TripAdvisor number one for Shopping in Leeds means a visit to us is always a fabulous experience in a relaxed and fun environment!

What inspire you when you design your shop window? do you have any blogs, magazines or shops that you use for inspiration?

Our inspiration for our shop windows comes from the many beautiful products we have in-store.

We usually have themes which we work to, which are planned out in advance for the whole year. We sometimes mirror local events which are happening within Leeds and we like to work with our Arcade neighbours The Bridal Emporium to create coordinating displays where possible to give an even larger visual impact.

What are the most important things to consider when you are planning a shop window? 

The WOW factor is definitely an important factor for us.  We have a large window and you cannot see into the body of the shop, so it is the sole advertisement for us.

Therefore, our display has to draw the eye and make people stop, to invite them in.  It can be challenging to showcase each of the Makers we hold in store while still providing a cohesive display so we work very hard to ensure that our windows always have a wow factor, that they are very eye-catching and are just enough of a tease for people to stop and look and think ‘I need to go in and see what the shop is all about’.

What works and what doesn’t?

We use lots of props with a few selected products rather than having lots of products and a few props as we find this works better for us.  It enables us to fill a large window space with an eye-catching display and showcase the selected products.

Do you need a big budget to design a compelling show window? 

Definitely not in our opinion.  We are a small Independent business in a tough retail environment and our window displays are prepared on a shoestring as we have no large marketing budgets to spend.

Luckily, we are very creative people and we have amazing base products to work with!

How often you change your shop window?

Every 4-8 weeks depending on the season.

Where can we find out more about Our Handmade Collective?

The best place to keep up with all of our news is on social media, you can find us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  You can also find us through our website.